Scientists at the University of Padua, a northern Italian institution, have stated their research involving scientific tests made on the Shroud of Turin accurately date it to an era which includes the time that Christians believe their savior walked the earth.
According to a story filed by Religion News Service, the news was marked by an display that was opened to the public on 30 March 2013, which included a special television appearance where the information was introduced by the Pope.
This new data contradicts the general scientific consensus that the Shroud actually dates from the middle ages. A special video message with an introduction by Pope Francis, which focused on an event held in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, was released on Holy Saturday.
The Vatican has been historically reluctant to claim that the Shroud was the actual burial cloth of whom they believe to be Jesus, and has typiclly referred to the item not as a relic, but an icon.
The story cites Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin, the official 'pontifical custodian of the shroud,' who stated that the Shroud,
“…represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord.”
For those not familiar with the Shroud of Turin, it is believed by many to reveal the imprints of the face and body of a man who has a beard, as well as nail wounds in the wrists and pin prick marks on his forehead.
Most of the experts and scientists stand by the carbon-14 dating that was offered in 1968, but lates more are beginning to question the fibers that were tested, some stating that these earlier results may have been contaminated when the Shroud underwent repair during the middle ages.
The cloth has been kept at the cathedral since 1578.
It should be noted that these new tests additionally support that traces of dust and pollen could only have come from the Holy Land.
These latest findings can be found in the book 'Il Mistero Della Sindone,' translated as 'The Mystery of the Shroud.' It was written by Giulio Fanti, who is a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua. Joining him is a journalist named Saverio Gaeta.
For more information, commentary and relevant links, please sread the story in Religion News Service